In September 2021, the volume of gas transportation from the EU to Ukraine amounted to almost 665 million cubic meters. Export and re-export of gas from Ukraine to European countries increased by 3.5 times and reached 264 million cubic meters. In total, over the first nine months of 2021, Ukraine imported 2.381 billion cubic meters of gas, while export and re-export amounted to 1.149 billion cubic meters.
As compared to August 2021, the import of gas in September increased by 17 percent, namely by 98 million cubic meters. Hungary remained the leading gas exporter to Ukraine, with its share in total imports exceeding 90% (603 million cubic meters).
Gas exports and re-exports in September rose significantly due to the increased gas supplies to Hungary. Along with the Hungarian direction, natural gas was also exported to Poland – 9 million cubic meters.
“The activity of market players in September had increased significantly prior to the heating season – the import of natural gas to Ukraine went up, and the reverse flow of gas from Ukrainian storage facilities to European consumers grew. This natural process became more complicated in October, when the physical transit of gas to Hungary – the main exporter of gas to Ukraine in 2021 – was halted. The instability of supplies, caused by Russia’s decision to divert the gas flows, could be exacerbated by the risk of launching the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline,” said Sergiy Makogon, General Director of GTSOU. “Transparency and barrierfree access, to which European and Ukrainian gas suppliers are accustomed, can be lost due to a single player’s desire to create bottlenecks for price manipulations.”
As it was noted, since October 1, 2021, Gazprom had stopped the transit of gas through the territory of Ukraine in the direction to Hungary. Since the capacity of the gas transportation system at the exit from Ukraine to Hungary is contracted for the entire gas year (from 01.10.2021 to 30.09.2022) in the amount of 24.6 million cubic meters per day, it will be paid regardless of the actual physical volumes of transit.
However, the termination of the physical transit of natural gas to Hungary through the territory of Ukraine limits the opportunities of Ukrainian and foreign customers to import the natural gas from the EU using currently the cheapest route – through Hungary. According to Gas TSO of Ukraine (GTSOU), in 2021, all of the import of natural gas from Hungary was conducted by virtual reverse. Therefore, without the physical transit of Russian gas, the import via this direction becomes more complicated and depends on the technical capabilities of the Ukrainian and Hungarian Gas TSOs.
Accordingly, starting from October of this year, gas imports from the EU to Ukraine have been redirected to other routes – from Poland and Slovakia.